In the world of B2B sales methodologies there seem to be two schools of thought.
Functional: Sales is a science, driven by numbers and tracked in a CRM. The standard way to imagine this is the "Sales Funnel".
Relationship: Sales is about personality & serendipity. The more people you can meet, the more breakfast seminars and 'lunch & learn' events, the better the chance of the success. An analogous view of this might be an ill-bound ball of wool (possibly with the BD director as a nearby kitten :)
In Professional Services the Relationship sales model is by far the most common. There is a real and well-founded fear of being caught "selling"; in a trust business, it is very important not to over-step the mark. For this reason, in the Professional Services, there is the notion of the Rainmaker - they can make rain "by magic". They mustn't sell but they make sales nonetheless.
Over time though these two schools are becoming closer. The Relationship group are increasingly using structured content tools to nurture and close their leads and the Functional group too are using these softer tools as part of their process - using Content to Close.
Groups like Tribal Impact - see below - are helping firms on their journey.
Peter Ostrow and Andrew Moravite highlighted in the “Social Selling with Content” report that “While social sellers, especially those using content, function much like their peers in marketing, marketing too are thinking more like sellers in terms of revenue, won/lost opportunities and overall sales efficiency”. In short, it's time for Sales and Marketing to get cosy. Marketing is getting involved further down the funnel than ever before, increasingly KPI’d on won and booked deals that they either generate, influence or accelerate.